League of Legends Yuumi nerfs spark concern, but Riot isn’t worried

New League of Legends Yuumi nerfs that drop with LoL patch 12.23 have sparked some concern with the MOBA's playerbase, but Riot believes they're the right move

League of Legends Yuumi nerfs spark concern, but Riot isn't worried: A black cat with a white muzzle wearing round glasses sits proud on a book

League of Legends Yuumi nerfs should be music to players’ ears, but some are concerned that the MOBA‘s most infamous furball won’t be getting what she deserves in the coming update. Riot, however, has defended its decision.

Everyone hates Yuumi. The feisty feline has been a terror in the bot lane since her release, with Riot having to nerf her over and over again to get her into a state where she’s not completely OP.

Effectively a floating, talking buff, she’s incredibly powerful in all stages of the game, and as a result is basically a permaban at both casual and pro level. This has led to yet another barrage of nerfs, noted in our League of Legends patch 12.23 preview, but lead designer on the League balance team, Matt ‘Phroxzon’ Leung-Harrison has now revealed what exactly is changing.

The root from her Final Chapter ultimate is having its duration slashed (1.75 seconds to 1.25), and her passive’s cooldown is increasing from 14 – 6 based on level to 18 – 6.

Following the announcement, a thread on the League of Legends Reddit was quick to voice concerns that the nerf “targets the wrong playerbase.” In a lengthy post they claim “Riot does not know how to handle Yuumi,” and then go on to propose changes of their own based on their apparent expertise with the champion.

This prompted a response from Leung-Harrison, who comments with an equally lengthy answer. “The TLDR of this is that it’s not that we don’t know how to make active Yuumi [one that procs her passive and moves between champions], it’s that we don’t think the trade-off of making active Yuumi more powerful is acceptable for her intended audience.”

One player points out that, while Leung-Harrison refers to Yuumi as a champion that works best with “new players” because she doesn’t require a focus on positioning, she remains an issue at higher ELOs. “This is what we need to resolve first,” Leung-Harrison replies. “Long term we want to tune Yuumi to be weaker for sophisticated players, so that she can be tuned around her intended skill bracket. These changes are the first step at that.

“The intention of the changes is so that she is less likely to get out of lane unscathed in high ELO, which would directly reduce the frustration as a second order effect (that’s the intent at least). The root duration change is to make it so when she gets out of lane, she’s not reducing the counterplay by as much.”

I, for one, am delighted to see some nerfs to the magical cat – especially given that I’m a support main. The root changes will certainly reduce the likelyhood of huge, pesky wombo combos (specifically the late game ones), and that’s music to my ears.

As we delve even deeper into the Preseason, be sure to check out our rundown of all the League of Legends Preseason 2023 changes, as well as the League of Legends 12.22 patch notes to ensure you know where your favourite champs sit in the meta.